Jerry Brown Keeps Tight Lid on Governor Moonbeam Days

Jerry Brown uses exemption crafted by Jerry Brown to keep records under wraps

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images for AFI
    Jerry Brown does not particularly want you to know how the Proposition 13 sausage was made.

    According to the latest Field Poll, 60 percent of Californians under 30 years old have no opinion of Attorney General Jerry Brown, the presumptive Democratic nominee in this year's gubernatorial election.

    Might be because many hadn't even been born last time Brown was the state's chief executive, from 1975 to 1983.

    And if Jerry Brown has anything to say about it, don't go looking for public records from his administration -- those are kept under lock and key at the University of Southern California.

    While a spokesperson for Brown says that he has granted access, but the First Amendment Coalition's request under the state's Public Records Act which Brown signed into law has been collecting dust since October.

    Brown originally used an exemption in the Public Records Act to keep the documents secret, then in a 1988 fight over whether USC or the state should keep the records on file, Brown successfully lobbied for language in the bill that mandated a 50 year term for such exemptions.

    The news might not affect the race much. Brown still handily beats all presumptive Republican challengers in a general election based on the poll numbers, with former eBay CEO Meg Whitman enjoying a 28 percent lead over Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner in the Republican primary.

    Jackson West figures this does not bode well for Brown's stance on open government initiatives.